Sticky Toffee & Chocolate Fig Pudding Cake

10.05.11 My little man turns a year older tomorrow. My baby will no longer be…a baby. I know I say that each year, but truly, at this time tomorrow, he will cross that invisible threshold, turning from five to six. He is now in the…

Sticky Toffee & Chocolate Fig Pudding Cake


10.05.11

My little man turns a year older tomorrow. My baby will no longer be…a baby. I know I say that each year, but truly, at this time tomorrow, he will cross that invisible threshold, turning from five to six. He is now in the league of bigger boys, and I must stop thinking of him as a marginal toddler.

But he’ll always be my baby.

He’ll always be my deep thinker, my thoughtful one. The one who can melt my heart with one sentence. The one who said the other day, “Mama, when I see that picture of your mom on your iPhone, I think she’s really pretty.” How I wish my mom were alive to meet my charmer. Her heart would have melted too.

My little guy has been my sidekick in the kitchen, always observing, always tasting. He can find the cilantro in the produce section, and is the first to try the newest concoctions. He also asked that I put olives on his birthday cake — clearly, he has some maturing to do in the food department. (Or does he? Maybe he’s on to something.) But he was also the first to sneak a taste of this Sticky Toffee & Chocolate Fig Pudding Cake, and I was happy to see his eyes light up. Mmm! He quickly tried to sneak some more.

I’m not surprised. I knew he would adore this decadent dessert – one of his favorite treats are fig cereal bars, particularly of the Trader Joe’s variety. Figgy sweetness has duped him into believing those bars are filled with chocolate. So when I had a strong craving for a classic Sticky Toffee Pudding, which is traditionally made with dates, I decided to create one with some gorgeous fresh figs. These late season jewels are particularly wonderful, and a nice surprise in October.

Of course, I can no longer call this a proper Sticky Toffee Pudding, my English friends would never approve. But the fig comes through beautifully, distinct but not overbearing. One spoonful into this dense chocolate fig cake drenched in a warm toffee sauce, and your heart will melt, too.

Sticky Toffee & Chocolate Fig Pudding Cake

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 8 oz fresh figs (about 8 individual figs)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (plus 1 tablespoon for the pan)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For the Toffee Sauce:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare your baking dishes (ramekins, 8x8 brownie pan, small spring form pan may all be used) by buttering and lightly dusting with cocoa powder.

Trim the stems off the figs and slice in half. In the bowl of a food processor, place the figs and process until they are puréed. Set aside.

In a bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until smooth and light in color. Gradually add the cocoa powder and mix well. Blend in the egg, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the cake flour and salt on low speed, mixing until just incorporated. Stir in the fig purée. Pour into baking dish(es) and place a baking pan filled partially with water in the oven to bake. Baking time will depend on your baking dishes. In general, the cakes will bake for about 30 minutes, give or take. Just be sure to test with toothpick - when inserted, it should be clean when removed. For larger baking dishes, it will take closer to 40 minutes total baking time.

Make the Toffee Sauce by placing the butter, brown sugar and heavy cream in a small heavy saucepan over low-medium heat. When the sugar has dissolved and the sauce has darkened and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, it is ready.

When the cakes are baked, remove from the oven. Poke many holes into the cakes with a toothpick, and spoon about half the sauce over them, letting the cakes absorb the gooeyness. At this point, the cakes may sit for up to 2 hours at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator. To reheat the pudding cakes, place in a 300° oven for about 10 minutes, or until heated through. Otherwise, let it sit for at least 20 minutes to allow the sauce to absorb into the cake, then serve whilst warm, along with vanilla ice cream and remaining toffee sauce.

Recipe adapted from Sticky Toffee Pudding by Jamie Oliver and Gourmet, March 2005 via Epicurious.

Comments

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  1. Winnie

    Liren,
    This is so gorgeous! I was not able to find figs here all summer but did finally purchase some recently. Now I want every meal (and dessert) to include figs!

    Reply
  2. Vicki Bensinger

    This looks so good. I have figs right now and I need to use them before they go bad. With all the ingredients for this dish in my frig and cabinet I need to make this. Sounds and looks heavenly. Your photos are incredible.

    Reply
  3. roz

    Oh my goodness, this little figgy pudding cake looks and sounds insanely magnificent! Bravo!!! Printing it right as I type! COuld you tell me who did your blog design? I have a new sister blog on WordPress and need help big time? Thanks so much if you reply! Nice to be back to blogging again and I appreciate all of your kind comments and prayers in my absence. Roz

    Reply
  4. skip to malou

    aww Lire, this is such a sweet post. It actually made me cry. I remember I used to say that ot my Joey but look “my baby” he is now in college!
    Emjoy your little man… he’s lucky to have a mom like you, making memories… yes food memories that warm up the heart.
    Give my birthday greetings to him and a tight HUG from tita Malou!

    Reply
  5. carolineadobo

    Birthday wishes to your baby boy, Liren! My boys love the TJs fig bars, too. I bet they would love this Fig Pudding Cake as well, just like your son. :)

    Reply
  6. Ann

    Holy Guacamole, Batman! This is an amazing dish….so beautiful and wowza – your pictures are incredible! Buzzed, buzzed, BUZZED!

    Reply
  7. Anna

    How time flies…why do kids grow up so fast? Happy Birthday Little Boy, oopsie! Big boy!
    Thanks for sharing your recipe. By the way, your toffee sauce is fantastic!

    Reply
  8. Lacy

    this cake looks delicious! your pics are gorgeous! Happy bday to your little guy :)

    Reply
  9. bunkycooks

    Happy birthday to your little one! Children do grow so fast. Enjoy the time while you can. This looks like one decadent dessert! Maybe we can share. I’ll swap you a slice of Bourbon Bread Pudding… ;)

    Reply
  10. Island Vittles

    I LOVE sticky toffee pudding, and I also think that with the right type of cake, you could totally get away with olives…anything for our kids, right? Theresa

    Reply
  11. Norma

    y baby just turned 42 and he will always be my baby….great shots and one heck of a pudding. Best wished to your little man.

    Reply
    • Liren

      Hi Norma :) Please tell me your baby still gives you hugs. My son assured me yesterday that he will still give me hugs, even when he is 10. When I asked him about 20, he assured me again that he would. I can only hope :)

      Reply
  12. Sukaina

    I tried my first fig a few weeks ago but I wasn’t imprssed- I think I picked an unripe. I really want to give it another go and I do think it would wokr perfectly in a cake like this. Happy belated birthday to your wee one :)

    Reply
    • Liren

      I hope you give it another go, Sukaina. A perfectly ripened fig will make all the difference. You won’t even need to bake it to enjoy it! But in the meantime, this cake will definitely do the trick :) I hope you find some good figs soon!

      Reply
    • Liren

      Aren’t they darling? I have become such a sucker for adorable spoons!

      Reply
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